Thursday, April 4, 2013

Hokkaido Milk Bread with Tangzhong ~ We Knead to Bake # 3

This post is for all of you who mailed in and asked me why I still haven't baked the WKtB post of the month.I couldn't do it on time but better late than never,eh?
Hokkaido Milk Bread
After the laborious Croissants last time,when Aparna mentioned we were doing a easier bread this time,I was quite relieved.But when I heard the name,I was amused.Hokkaido?Tangzhong?Apparently,it is a very popular bread in South Asian bakeries across the world.It is also known as Asian Sweet Bread and Hong Kong Pai Bo.
The Hokkaido Mild Bread owes its texture and height to the use of an interesting ingredient called Tangzhong. Basically, the Tangzhong method involves cooking 1 part of bread flour with 5 parts of water (by weight) at 65°C (149 °F) to form a roux. At 65°C, the gluten in the bread flour and water mixture would absorb the moisture and create a “leavening” action.  When the Tangzhong is added into other ingredients that go into a bread dough, it produces light, tender and fluffier bread.
Hokkaido Milk Bread
This method of using Tangzhong is often seen in South Asian breads and was created by a Chinese woman, Yvonne Chen, who describes this method in her book which translates to “65 degrees Bread Doctor”.
The Hokkaido milk bread is a very easy bread to make.The first step is to make the Tangzhong and second is kneading the bread dough.The dough is a bit sticky so kneading can be a bit hard if you are doing it by hand.The dough is pretty versatile too.You can make plain bread loaves,dinner rolls,Pav for Pav Bhaji,filled bread or animal shapes.My creativity when it comes to shaping animals is nil and I didn't want to embarrass myself by shaping something which might turn into something totally different,so I stuck to baking rolls and loaves:) Hokkaido Milk Bread
Hokkaido Milk Bread With Tangzhong
(Original Recipe from 65 Degrees Tangzhong “65C Bread Doctor” by Yvonne Chen, and adapted from Kirbie’sCravings)

For The Tangzhong (Flour-Water Roux)

1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk 
For The Dough:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tbsp sugar
1tsp salt
2 tbsp powdered milk
2 tsp instant dried yeast
1/2 cup milk (and a little more if needed)
1/8 cup cream (25% fat)
1/3 cup tangzhong (use HALF of the tangzhong from above)
25gm unsalted butter (cut into small pieces, softened at room temperature)
1/2 to 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips if making the chocolate chip rolls 
The Tangzhong  (Flour-Water Roux):

Hokkaido Milk Bread-step1 
Whisk together lightly the flour, water and milk in a saucepan until smooth and there are no lumps. Place the saucepan on the stove, and over medium heat, let the roux cook till it starts thickening. Keep stirring/ whisking constantly so no lumps form and the roux is smooth.
Hokkaido Milk Bread-step2 
If you have a thermometer, cook the roux/ tangzhong till it reaches 65C (150F) and take it off the heat. If like me, you don’t have a thermometer, then watch the roux/ tangzhong until you start seeing “lines” forming in the roux/ tangzhong as you whisk/ stir it. Take the pan off the heat at this point.
Let the roux/ tangzhong cool completely and rest for about 2 to 3 hours at least. It will have the consistency of a soft and creamy crème patisserie. If not using immediately, transfer the roux to a bowl and cover using plastic wrap. It can be stored in the fridge for about a day. Discard the tangzhong after that.  
The Bread Dough:

I made this dough in the food processor. This dough can be made by hand but the dough is a bit sticky and can take some time and effort to knead by hand. If you have some sort of machine which will do the kneading for you, use it. Don’t punish yourself. And do not add more flour to make it less sticky either!
Hokkaido Milk Bread-step3 
Put the flour, salt, sugar, 
Hokkaido Milk Bread-step4 
powdered milk and instant yeast in the processor bowl and pulse a couple of times to mix. 
Hokkaido Milk Bread-step5 
In another small bowl mix the milk, cream and Tangzhong till smooth and add to the processor bowl. 
Hokkaido Milk Bread-step6 
Run on slow speed until the dough comes together. Now add the butter and process till you have a smooth and elastic dough which is just short of sticky.
The dough will start out sticky but kneading will make it smooth. If the dough feels firm and not soft to touch, add a couple of tsps of milk till it becomes soft and elastic. When the dough is done, you should be able to stretch the dough without it breaking right away.  When it does break, the break should be form a circle.
Hokkaido Milk Bread-step7 
Form the dough into a ball and place it in a well-oiled bowl turning it so it is well coated. Cover with a towel, and let the dough rise for about 45 minutes or till almost double in volume.  
Place the dough on your working surface. You don’t need flour to work or shape this dough. This recipe makes enough dough to make one loaf (9” by 5” tin), 2 small loaves (6” by 4” tins) or 1 small loaf (6” by 4”) and 6 small rolls (muffin tins). Depending on what you are making, divide your dough. If you are making 1 loaf, divide your dough in 3 equal pieces. If you are making two smaller loaves, divide your dough into 6 equal pieces.
Hokkaido Milk Bread-step8 
I made one small loaf and 5 small rolls. So I first divided my dough into two equal pieces first. Then I divided the first half into four equal pieces to make the loaf. The other half was divided into five equal pieces for five rolls.
The shaping of the portions, whether for the loaf or the rolls, is the same.
Hokkaido Milk Bread-step9 
Roll out each portion of the dough with a rolling pin into an oval shape, about 1/8” thick. Take one end of the dough from the shorter side of the oval and fold it to the middle of the oval. Take the other end and fold so it slightly overlaps the other fold.
Hokkaido Milk Bread-step10 
Roll this folded dough with the rolling pin so the unfolded edges are stretched out to form a rectangle. Roll the rectangle from one short edge to the other, pinching the edges to seal well. Do this with each of the three larger pieces and place them, sealed edges down, in a well-oiled loaf tin. Cover with a towel and leave the dough to rise for about 45 minutes.
Hokkaido Milk Bread-step11 
To make the rolls fold them in the same manner described above, but before rolling them up, place some chocolate chip on the dough.I did one chocolate chip roll,two nutella and one with strawberry preserve.Also one small cinnamon-sugar roll. Roll the dough rectangles carefully and pinch to seal the edge. 
Hokkaido Milk Bread-step12 
Place each roll of dough in a well-oiled muffin cup and cover with a towel. Allow to rise for about 45 minutes. 

Hokkaido Milk Bread-step13 
Carefully brush the tops of the rolls and the loaf with milk (or cream) and bake them at 170C (325F) for about 20 to 30 minutes till they are done (if you tap them they’ll sound hollow) and beautifully browned on top. Let them cool in the tins for about 5 minutes and then unmould and transfer to a rack till slightly warm or cool.
Hokkaido Milk Bread

Serve or else store in a bread bin. This bread stays soft and delicious even the next day. This recipe makes enough dough to make one loaf (9” by 5” tin), 2 small loaves (6” by 4” tins) or 1 small loaf (6” by 4”) and 6 small rolls (muffin tins).

I'd highly recommend this bread to everyone who think bread baking is not as easy as it seems to be.Many a times,I've been disheartened too-sometimes the yeast was faulty,sometimes the recipe was faulty or sometimes,I might have done something wrong.This recipe is the answer-soft,pillowy and spongy,bread which you thought you only got in bakeries can now be made at home and with an almost fool-proof recipe.

Herb and Cheese Pull-apart Bread{January}
Herb & Cheese Pull-apart Loaf

Classic Croissants{February} 
Classic Croissants


  1. There u are! Was wondering why u havent posted it yet :) Love to see your version of these breads... Interesting variety of fillings there!

  2. Loved d pic of loaves in tin..superbly droololicious, lovely unique recipe, softness of bread well presented n past posts on breads, d pics yum!

  3. WOnderfully explained with steps :) nice post

  4. WOW .........Perfectly Baked :)
    Love the clicks !!! Amazing !!!

  5. Now you are tempting me to try this bread. Wonderfully done. :)

  6. this jsut takes me back to kerala, the soft fluffy breads we get from the bakeries!!! yummm

  7. Looks absolutely perfect.. And yum :)


A blog is not complete without the readers feedback.Please let me know how you liked my post.Thank you so much for visiting my blog.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Pin It button on image hover